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Playing Around: Rubber Planet & Wendy Woo 

I am sitting here with the press kits of two musical entities on my desk -- one is a critically acclaimed singer-songstress, and the other a rock band with a decidedly '80s pop-rock (heavy on the rock) sound. And they're both playing at Acoustic Coffee Lounge this weekend.

So I'll just write about them both.

On Friday night, the amp gets cranked up for Rubber Planet. This Denver band is all about the pop side of rock -- passionate hard-edged Top 40. There's something so very power ballad-y about them, but I can't quite put my finger on it. It might be something in their strong, repetitive guitar riffs, or maybe it's the way the trio sings about girls and love and loving girls and whatnot. In any case, as much as you may not want to admit it, when it comes to pure pop-rock, I'm on to you. I know you like it. I'll bet that come Saturday morning, you'll be singing it in the shower.

On Saturday night, the lovely Ms. Wendy Woo drives down from Boulder to perform her mellow, modern, mountain rock. A well-respected producer and engineer, Woo co-founded Women From Mars (a festival-style exhibition of interchanging female performers) and she teaches music and song writing at Naropa University.

But I digress. Woo's strongest asset is her own original music. Thoroughly Colorado, it's a melodic blend of intelligent, easily flowing lyrics and adept arrangements for piano, guitar and, often, spicy Latin percussion. Unassuming at first, Woo's dexterous music works its way into your consciousness like an Edward Hopper painting or a shot of smooth rum.

Both shows start at 8 p.m., Rubber Planet on Friday and Wendy Woo on Saturday. And admission to both gigs is $7. Call 268-9951 for more.

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